Wandering into an antique shop full of used household treasures, the browser surveyed many of the hundreds of items on display. He was looking for something of great value at a bargain price. (Imagine that!) Aisles and aisles of once treasured vases, pitchers, and containers of every size and shape imaginable seemed to call out to the browser for his attention. If only the vessels could talk! Where did they come from? What did they once hold, and whom did they serve? And how did they end up here?
After many rounds of the aisles of merchandise, the shopper kept returning to the same object, a curious little vase, rather unattractive, plain and simple. Picking it up he could see vaguely the price which had been scratched out . Somehow he sensed that great value had been attached to this one-time treasure. Asking the proprietor, he learned that this vase had quite a history in a family of great affluence. Not only of daily use in the household of nobility, it had contained costly valuables which had been precious to the family. The fact that it appeared plain and simple made it all the more special to the owners. No thief would suspect that such a vessel contained such valuable treasure. One time worth an enormous amount of money, it had been broken and eventually sold or given away. The sticker had apparently been marked "priceless". Now it was free.
Paul discribes a similar scenario when he wrote of the priceless treasure poured into vessels of clay. Who could imagine a plan where the God of the universe would dwell in the form of a man. And who can explain the mind of our Creator who purchased plain and simple vessels of clay in order to empty into them all the treasures of heaven?
"We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!"
We contain precious and valuable contents! Let our outward behavior reflect who we are on the inside.